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6 Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’

8 Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’

9 Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”?

One of the most frustrating experiences we live through is not being believed. 

Your partner is looking for their phone and asks if you’re sitting on it. You say no. They still ask you to stand up. 

Maybe you were sitting on it. But if you weren't? Hoo boy. 

I mean, the indignity. The injustice! I was speaking the truth and you didn’t believe me.

But wait a good long second Seth, you could say (my wife is saying as she reads this): sometimes you are sitting on my phone. Sometimes - often - you are wrong! It’s therefore only fair to be skeptical of your claim that you are not sitting on my phone. 

Simply stand up and show me you aren’t sitting on my phone and that will be enough for us. 

And you know what? Fair enough. I do get things wrong. I sit on my phone and my wife’s phone. And much more. 

But you know who doesn’t sit on your phone? Jesus.

Jesus is the only human who never got it wrong. So when we get to verse eight and Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father, show them the ultimate miracle, a cosmic vision of the Eternal Divine Reality in order to believe, it’s cheekier than it seems.

Because on the face of it, it seems a fair request: “Jesus, you’re making big claims. Maybe you want to offer some big evidence.” 

And don’t we sometimes (often!) feel the same? “Man, this Christianity stuff is hard. If only there was a miracle that could really prove to me that Jesus is ‘the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him.”

But is this fair? Well, not in the case of Philip. Because by this verse we’re already in chapter 10 of John. Philip and the rest of the disciples have seen many miracles. Water was turned into wine, those unable to walk were healed, 5000 were fed with a slice of bread and a few fish, Jesus walked on water and healed the blind! My goodness. 

And so when Jesus says: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ Philip is in a privileged position to say ‘the move of integrity is to say, yes, yes he is.’

But he doesn’t. He asks for yet another miracle. Show me the Father, Jesus!

Sometimes you can’t win. 

Poor Jesus, so exasperated replies: ‘I’ve been with you this whole time and you still don’t get it? You’re seeing me! I am the ultimate and final showing of the Father! I just - I just couldn’t have made this more clear.’

Because I bet Jesus knew that one more miracle wasn’t going to do the trick for Philip. For some (most?) of us, one more miracle wouldn’t increase our faith in Jesus even by a raindrop. Remember, when the resurrected Jesus was out and about, up to 500 people at one time saw him, and yet many walked away. 

They saw Jesus resurrected! But they didn’t believe what they saw because they didn’t want to. 

And I bet if today there appeared a divine hand writing in the heavens “It’s me Jesus! And I’m the only way to God because I’m the only God!” For many, I bet it would breed obedience out of fear or hatred and resentment, but I doubt genuine faith and love. 

And that’s what Jesus is looking for. He’s not aiming for the shallow waters of rational assent, he desires a heart that is humbled by his love, and responds to his love in simple trust - faith. 

But Seth, you could say: sure, Philip was cheeky because he saw all those amazing miracles and still didn’t believe Jesus. But me? I haven’t seen any! I’m just a modern person experiencing the regularity of the mundane. Bills are being paid. I show up on Sundays sometimes and I sing, but it’s all rather basic. If I saw what Philip did, I’d believe. 

My friend, not to get too cute here but you have experienced miracles, you’re just not calling them that. 

You go for a hike and deeply enjoy that nature all around you, but you don’t recognize that

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name. Ps 19,1 & 66,4 

Do you join in the praise? Or do you simply thank ‘mother earth’ for nature and refuse to worship the Creator whose hands fashioned and shaped the world you enjoy?

Or try another angle.

Do you consider the time and place you were born and exist that privilege you with printed bibles and top tier academic scholarship that make powerfully persuasive arguments for the resurrection of Jesus we didn’t have even 50 years ago? Or do you simply write off the core of our faith as ‘maybe it happened, I don’t know...’ and refuse to seek answers deeper than your doubts?

But let's get a personal for a moment.

Do you look back at your life and point out those moments that changed everything, those unlooked for instances of life and love, and call them ‘happy coincidences’? Just plain good luck? Or will you begin to recognize that those weren't lucky moments at all. The truth was and always will be that God has been there with you every step of the way, even when you thought he left.

Because Jesus has been there with you. He is with you, even right now. 

You have never been alone. 

Jesus has been showering you with his miracles and love, over and over again, all throughout your life and you are not seeing him for who he is.

Because maybe you’re stuck in a loop. In your heart you’re insisting on a miracle, a sign that you think would make all the difference! 

But actually, it wouldn’t. It would make you hate God or obey out of fear. And God never wanted that. He wants to give you a chance to know him for who he is. Pure love.

I think what we all need is a new approach anchored in humility and hope. 

My suggestion is this: let that doubt go. Or at least suspend it. Try reading the bible to hear what Jesus is saying to YOU right now. Take it as a word from God, a letter to you offering you exactly what you’ve needed and haven’t been able to find anywhere else. 

And stop calling significant moments in your life ‘happy coincidences’ or ‘luck’. Instead, call those moments what they’ve always been: signs of God's love for you. Miracles meant to remind you that you have never been alone because he is always with you, looking out for you, always wanting the best for you if only you’d trust him.

I mean, even if you don't believe this right now, wouldn't it be great if it were true? If you think so then just go with it. Bracket the doubt for a sec and give Jesus an actual shot.

And as you make these moves of trust - of faith, you’ll see Jesus as he has always been. God come to you in mercy and love, a never ending love for you, in all your beauty and brokenness. 

Not because you’ve earned it or deserve it but because he is love, he is good, and he loves you forever. 

And he’s shown you you can trust him. You just have to want to see it.